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I told my friends some secrets today... I'm not sure I meant what I even said, as the secret was about a person I did not like very much, and it was rather unpleasant.

My friends had asked me why I didn't like that specific person, and I answered them honestly (a little too honestly, I think...). I told them not to reveal my thoughts to him, but I am unsure I did the right thing.

Should I tell the person, whom I did not like, the truth? I know that if I let my friends let him know, he'll probably hate it even more than if I tell him myself. I need advice on what's the best thing to do right now, as well as in the long run so as to avoid such stuff in the future.

Regarding culture and location, I am from India, and am in 11th grade.

  • Was the secret just why you dislike the person, or was it a secret about the person they would not want others to know? – NVZ Aug 14 '17 at 12:00
  • Do you trust these friends to keep secrets? – NVZ Aug 14 '17 at 12:01
  • @NVZ the secret was just why i dislike my friend... and i do trust my friends – user157 Aug 14 '17 at 12:26
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Once you share it, a secret has a life of its own. It's no longer in your control.

Trust is one of the pillars of friendship. Do not let your secrets out in the first place, unless you absolutely trust your friends to keep it.

To prevent your friends from spilling your secrets, you should look at how they could possibly do it.

  1. Tell your friends that it is a secret, in case they're clueless that it is.

  2. Tell them the seriousness of the possible consequences, otherwise, they might not consider it a secret worth keeping.

  3. They may get carried away talking about stuff to others and expose it unintentionally. Hope such situations don't arise.

  4. Secrets may sometimes end up being valuable information worth trading for something in return. Hope your friend values your trust and friendship more than such trades.

  5. Some friends may secretly hate you, and go behind your back intentionally causing you harm. Hope it's not such fake friends in your circle.

More importantly, have self-control. You cannot control others or expect them to hold your secrets for you. Next time be careful who you tell your secrets in the first place.

It's important that you are a trustworthy person to your friends.

If in the past, you have failed to keep their secrets, it's possible that they won't bother keeping yours a secret. If you are trustworthy, you will attract friends who would like you to trust them as well. They will be on your side, only if you have been good to them.

So, should you go tell the person that you hate, that you hate them?

NOPE! I don't know the connection you have with that person or what actually makes you hate them, so I can't comment on that further. But for now, I say, don't go up to them out of the blue and tell them you hate them. Don't.

Just try and convince your friends to keep this a secret.

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Should I tell the person, whom I did not like, the truth ?

Not unless you need that person to know.

I know that if I let my friends let him know, he'll probably hate it even more than if I tell him myself.

So ... ?

Do you particularly need that person to like you ?

You don't like them, so why does it matter ? You cannot control how they react, and you cannot know how they'll react to hearing this from someone else.

And they may not believe what they hear.

Let this play out and see what happens. Don't force it.

I need advice on what's the best thing to do right now, as well as in the long run so as to avoid such stuff in the future.

Keep your own counsel. While you can tell people secrets, simply learn to only confide in those you trust deeply.

But you will find you tell people things and regret it later. This is normal for all human relations. You simply have to learn to accept that sometimes things do not work out.

It is normal to feel a need to share your inner thoughts with people sometimes. But you need to learn that sometimes this has consequences and that you cannot control or anticipate these always. So you must learn that this is a risk, and you cannot live life without risk - it's impossible.

Regarding culture and location, I am from India, and am in 11th grade.

I'm not familiar enough with Indian society to make any comment on that, but people everywhere have to learn to live with need to trust people. Unfortunately that's not risk free and never can be.

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Secrets almost never stay buried forever. Your friends may be perfectly trust worthy, but even then these things have a way of getting out.

the secret was just why i dislike my friend...

This comment changes things a bit.

If the secret you're expecting your friends to keep is why you have a problem with a mutual friend, you need to weigh the loyalty that your friends may have to the person who you have a problem with.

This is a common problem that occurs when two individuals in a friend group have a falling out. It sounds like you've already made a bit of a misstep by venting to people within the group and you're aware that your words may have consequences.

How you handle it from here depends on what outcome you want.

If you just want to be done with the person you have a problem with, you've likely already set things in that direction by announcing the problem to others. By involving your other friends you're inadvertently putting them in a position to choose a side. Be aware that some of them may not choose your side.

If you want to make peace with the person, you'll need to do some damage control. Talk to the person you have a problem with directly. Hash out your differences, and apologize for involving your mutual friends.

I think your instinct to talk things out with the person you had a problem with was the right thing to do. Admittedly it's a little late now, you'll have an uncomfortable apology to make on top of working out the original problems, but it's better to wrap up the situation than letting it hang over your head. Like I said, these things have a way of getting out eventually. Better to get it over with than worry about it coming out later.

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In the present: Don't tell the person what you said.

First off, your friends should be well aware that if the other person finds out about what you said, you'll have an unpleasant situation to deal with. In high school, there were times when my friends and I made non-complimentary comments to each other about another student who had behaved obnoxiously. We trusted each other to not make our feelings known to others. We're friends; we're not going to set each other up for embarrassing social situations.

Friendships involve trust - the trust to understand another person's feelings and thoughts, and empathize when possible. That trust is often implicit; you shouldn't have to state outright that you don't want your friends telling this other person how they feel. If your friends share your secret, they've broken that trust. You would be within your rights to be angry at your friends - and they should know that. Backstabbing is not conducive to relationships.

I would not recommend telling the person what you said. Consider how you would feel if someone walked up to you and said, "Hey, I don't like you because [X, Y, Z]." You'd be offended even if they added "Oh, and I'm just doing this because my friends might tell you even though we were trying to safely talk about it behind your back."

Sure, your phrasing might be more tactful than this . . . but the sentiment is exactly the same. I highly doubt the person will respond better to you telling them to their face.

In the future: Keep these secrets truly a secret!

There are secrets I have - feelings, thoughts, desires - that I have never voiced to my friends. It's entirely possible to let a secret slip by accident, even in the cases of the best-intentioned people. Maybe a friend of yours is talking to another friend about the person you dislike, and they happen to mention that you, too, dislike the person.

My deepest secrets are known only to very close friends - or none at all. Accidents happen, people mess up, and there's no better way to avoid this than by keeping things inside. In the future, if you're worried about your friends keeping a specific secret, then simply don't tell them.

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    It's entirely possible to let a secret slip by accident: +1 and that's why a secret isn't one anymore when a second person knows about it... – OldPadawan Aug 14 '17 at 12:31

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